#wavyhair101 : Gel casts....all about them, and does wavy hair need a gel cast?
Have you ever heard the term “gel cast” or “cast” in curly hair or wavy hair conversations and wondered, what is that? I’m here to answer that along with a few gel-related F.A.Q.s…be sure to subscribe because I have more gel posts for these hot summer months! Just click on a question to learn more!
A gel cast is where you’ve coated the hair (whether wavy or curly or coily), and it hardens into a super crunchy “cast.” This cast would form around your waves but not necessarily make every single hair crunchy. For most wavies, we don’t want the cast to be the end result (but if you personally LIKE crunchy hair, then you do that!)
Most people don’t like a cast because of the crunchy look and feel. Some common ways to get rid of it are crunching and clapping. I’m not *exactly* sure of the origin of these methods. I believe the scrunch out the crunch method is from Lorraine Massey’s “Curly Girl Handbook” but just know that I didn’t create either of these methods. Scrunching is done from the ends of the hair up typically. The other method is “clapping” out the crunch, and that involvesclapping your hands onto each wave. I think the clapping method is better for wavies, especially 2a/2b, because it doesn’t pull out any wave like scrunching out gel can (in my experience).
It is very VERY important to wait until the hair is 100% dry. If you don’t, it’s pretty much guaranteed frizz. Ways to make this faster are to blow dry diffuse.
Typically a hard hold gel will give a cast. If you really want a cast, avoid anything that says “touchable” or “soft hold.”
Note: if you can think of exceptions to this, PLEASE comment them as this is super helpful to others.
The short answer is it’s up to you (so NO you don’t need one). I don’t like gel casts because they tend to cause build up for future days’ hair. Keep in mind that I wash my hair normally every 4-5 days. When I do a gel cast I can only do about 3 days. For me, that’s not worth it. But a gel cast does help me achieve bouncy 2c waves, when I normally get 2b waves from my mousse method. And also to reiterate that you have to have 100% dry hair to remove the cast effectively. My hair takes FOREVER to dry, and I prefer a method that allows it to dry in the morning without looking too crazy. I don’t like to spend time diffusing my hair. Right now in my life, the time/effort is more valuable to me than amount of wave pattern. But that’s ME. For you, you might want to test out just how bouncy your waves can get. Maybe the effort is absolutely worth it, maybe diffusing feels pampering. It’s really up to you….what do you want out of your waves?